Yellow Tulip Project: How to Improve Mental Health with Dogs

The youth-led psychological well being group Yellow Tulip Project has launched a psychological well being consciousness marketing campaign known as Tails & Tulips, the place persons are inspired to get out and transfer it with their pets. Director of Events, 18-year-old Madeleine Manno of Boston, Massachusetts — who has two canines and two cats herself — says, “Animals have such a therapeutic impact, and time merely spent petting your cat or enjoying along with your canine can increase your temper. Pets are additionally an enormous motivator for us to exit and #MoveIt!”

The 2022 marketing campaign needs contributors to #MoveIt with their pets and take photos, whether or not or not it’s strolling, mountain climbing, operating or swimming. Participants can then put up the dog-human photos on their social media pages so their buddies, members of the family and different social followers will really feel impressed to become involved. At the identical time, says Madelaine, their followers will change into conscious of the stigma surrounding psychological well being and really feel compelled to smash it!

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Madeleine says you wouldn’t have to have a pet to register for the month-long occasion, and any type of motion – whether or not it’s operating a 5k or knitting – is greater than welcome. People of all ages, physique sorts and bodily skills are inspired to hitch and register at no cost. She says, “As a bonus, once you increase or donate $35-plus, you’ll obtain a thanks letter from one in every of our ambassadors and an lovely bandana you can put in your pet or put on your self!”

Click here to become involved within the Tails & Tulips campaign or study extra in regards to the group. Or observe on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube @theyellowtulipproject. Listen to the Yellow Tulip Project podcast, Roots and Wings on Spotify: Roots & Wings, Taffy Talks 

The Yellow Tulip Project Takes On Mental Health and Dogs

Director of Events on the youth-inspired Yellow Tulip Project, 18-year-old Madeleine Manno of Boston, MA, evokes us all to #MoveIt with our canines for higher psychological well being.

Dogster caught up with Madeleine to dig deeper into the Yellow Tulip Project’s Tails & Tulips marketing campaign. Madeleine has been part of the Yellow Tulip Project for the previous three years as a passionate advocate for psychological well being. She is taking it a step additional by attending the University of Pittsburgh subsequent 12 months to review Applied Developmental Psychology and Special Education.

Dogster: Can you inform us extra in regards to the Yellow Tulip Project?

Madeleine: The Yellow Tulip Project was based by Julia Hansen and her mom, Suzanne. Julia was coping with her personal melancholy all through center college and highschool, and sadly misplaced two of her finest buddies to suicide when she was a 15-year-old highschool sophomore. Tired of the stigma surrounding psychological sickness, Julia started to talk out about psychological well being and needed to create a protected area for youth to construct group and supply hope to all. Thus, the Yellow Tulip Project was born and has a powerful crew of youth leaders who spend their time advocating for psychological well being reform and sparking conversations about how one can fight the rising charges of suicide. See Julia Hansens’ Ted Talk about melancholy, suicide and psychological well being right here. 

Dogster: We love that this 12 months’s marketing campaign theme is Tails & Tulips and concerned canines. Can you inform us how the marketing campaign Tails & Tulips happened?

Madeleine: When the Move It Planning Team met in November 2021, we have been making an attempt to consider enjoyable, progressive concepts to get extra folks to take part in Move It! We have been enthusiastic about how exhausting the previous few years have been mentally due to the pandemic and every little thing that’s occurred on the planet, and we mirrored on how our pets introduced us a lot consolation throughout these instances. … Although we could begrudgingly get up early within the morning to stroll our canines, it’s this little little bit of train that units the tone for our whole day. I do know that once I stroll my canine it provides me the time and silence to replicate on my targets, how I’m feeling and what I can do to raised myself. 

Dogster: How does the Yellow Tulip Project consider that canines may also help with psychological well being?

Madeleine: The Yellow Tulip Project believes that canines may also help with psychological well being as a result of they’re our fixed supporters and all the time give us a lot love. As quickly as you stroll within the door from an extended, exhausting day you may have a furry good friend that excitedly greets you! Dogs encourage you to enhance your personal well being after they beg you to take them on a stroll or throw a ball to them. Dogs are all the time prepared to go on any journey with you, so spending time along with your canine is a superb excuse to get transferring whether or not you go on a hike, swim, run and even do yoga! Dogs are such nice assist animals and can be with you it doesn’t matter what: They don’t decide you or suppose much less of you. To them, you might be their whole world, and so they deeply love and cherish you. Having a finest good friend like a canine is unquestionably an exquisite factor, and they’re superb animals to have as assist techniques when you’re feeling down.

Dogster: Do you consider that discussing psychological well being is extra essential than ever earlier than?

Madeleine: 100% – I feel that though the pandemic introduced a lot devastation and loss, it additionally amplified the psychological well being dialog like by no means earlier than and made it mainstream. Everyone skilled the loneliness and anxiousness of a worldwide pandemic and quarantine, so psychological well being grew to become universally acknowledged. And for these of us who have been struggling in silence earlier than COVID, this seems like, in a roundabout way, a victory. 

I do know that if center college me had extra conversations about psychological well being – or even when I simply heard the experiences of individuals older than me that have been additionally fighting what I used to be fighting – I might have felt a lot much less alone and actually won’t have struggled as a lot. These conversations have such a therapeutic affect – they smash the stigma and, in the end, save lives. 

Dogster:  If our readers are fighting psychological well being, what are some methods they will get assist? 

I’m not a psychological well being skilled. That mentioned, our youth leaders created a extremely superior self-care information that consists of recommendation and self-care suggestions for anybody fighting their psychological well being. Here are my suggestions from the information:

Go into every expertise with an open thoughts! I are inclined to create a lot fear once I attempt one thing new, however all the time find yourself realizing that there’s nothing to fret about! Although it isn’t simple to tune out this uncertain voice, I’ve discovered that optimistic affirmations and useful coping expertise are important. Affirmations assist me to be in a optimistic headspace and have a extra optimistic strategy to each expertise.

Here are my self-care suggestions:

  • Release your vitality: Have you ever felt a buildup of vitality after a extremely nerve-wracking or tremendous thrilling occasion? I do know I’ve. In order to launch this vitality, I like to do meditation and yoga. Both have allowed me area to only breathe and let go.
  • Music: Music has a lot energy to set the tone of your day. I’ve created a day by day music playlist, the place I select one tune that encapsulates my day and add it to a playlist.
  • Art journaling: I like to create in no matter means doable, particularly in my journal! My journal has allowed me to flee the stress and discover my artistic freedom. I write down my emotions, doodle, splat paint on the pages, and embrace mementos
  • It’s OK to be alone: Being alone is each exhausting and scary however has allowed me to tune in with my feelings, decompress and never fear about these round me. I like to recommend going to a spot in nature, studying or taking your self on a date to your favourite espresso store.

If you’re actually struggling, take into account contacting a psychological well being hotline:

Dogster: What is your hope for the Yellow Tulip Project? Where do you hope it will likely be in 5 years?  

Madeleine: Five years in the past, when the Yellow Tulip Project was simply based, all we had was a cute emblem and a decided highschool scholar that was uninterested in the silence round psychological sickness. Our message of hope, motion and stigma discount has exploded onto the nationwide stage in such a short while interval. In our subsequent 5 years, I hope that the stigma surrounding psychological sickness will actually be smashed so that folks know that there’s assist and hope on the market and that it’s OK to not be OK and that issues can and can get higher. I hope that when folks see a yellow tulip they’re reminded of hope.

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